Do I stir continuously when making toffee?

by Ashley

I've been trying to make toffee, I've tried once and had a few questions.

Do I continuously stir the toffee mixture as I'm heating it up?

Also I noticed when stirring the temp would rise, but when I let it sit, without stirring for a few minutes the temp would either stay the same or would go back down.

I especially noticed that when I reached about 250 degrees, I would stir and stir then the temp would go up to 290 degrees but when I stopped stirring it would go way back down to 250 degrees. Is that suppose to happen? And if so is the temp when I stir what I'm suppose to go by or the temp it maintains when stopped stirring?

My toffee turned out alright but it seemed to have a burnt taste, more then I remember there being when I tried the finished product done by someone else. Is there anything I can do to avoid the burnt taste?

One last question I have is, if its snowing would I adjust for humidity by two degrees?

Hi Ashley,

Yes, it is best to stir continuously when making toffee. This helps the candy to heat more evenly and also reduces the chance of the butter separating or sugar crystals forming.

It does seem odd that your temperatures fluctuate so much when stirring and not stirring. Are you sure your thermometer is accurate? Did you test it first by boiling water and checking to see if the thermometer read 212 degrees?

Go by the temperature while stirring, as that would be more accurate since the heat is more evenly distributed throughout the mixture. Besides, you are supposed to keep stirring. ;)

Snow doesn't always mean high humidity. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, depending on if it is a damp snow or drier snow. If I remember correctly, the colder it is, the less likely it is to be humid. But I may be remembering wrong.

At any rate, since you say that your candy tastes a bit burnt, I wouldn't think you need to raise the temperature two degrees.

Instead, try again, this time gently stirring constantly. It doesn't need to be vigorous stirring, just slow and steady should do.

There are more tips on toffee making if you want to look them over before you begin again.

Let me know if you have success the second time around!


Comments for Do I stir continuously when making toffee?

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Nov 24, 2018
A little late, but maybe this will help NEW
by: Jason

Your temperature fluctuations are likely due to thermometer placement. When you are stirring, the temperature will be the same throughout the toffee because you are constantly mixing the areas that are cooling with the areas that are heating. When you stop stirring, the convection in the toffee isn't fast enough to keep the temperature the same so it will be hotter on the bottom than the top. So if your thermometer is near the top, it will read a lower temperature and if it's near the bottom the temperature will read higher.

Oct 08, 2016
Stirring toffee NEW
by: Judy O

I continuously stir without having problems, but if your toffee is tasting burnt that means you're boiling it too fast, urn the heat down a little bit. It may take a little longer to come to the hard crack stage but at least you're not left with the burnt taste.

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